Whilst sales of watches benefited on the one hand from the good economic environment in 2019, which made consumers more likely to purchase, on the other hand sales were negatively impacted by the rising popularity of smartwatches and wearables. Brands such as Apple and Fitbit received strong marketing support and exposure in retail channels, boosting sales of such products at the expense of watches.
Manufacturers are targeting younger consumers with luxury watches, which are seen as collectors’ items, by promoting more affordable products. Dutch consumers are showing interest in the tradition and production process behind mechanical watches, with manufacturers responding with more models and targeted communication that involves traditional advertising, but also popular social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.
Internet retailing is a channel which is increasingly being used by Dutch consumers to purchase watches. They may visit a physical store to look at and try on products, but then look online for the store offering the best possible price deal.
The Swatch Group continued to lead watches in the Netherlands in value terms in 2018. The company has separate sales strategies to deal with its various brands.
Newer brands are emerging by focusing on online sales and promotion. For instance, the brand Triwa from Sweden offers classic quartz models online at affordable prices, which compete in terms of quality and design with more expensive or luxury brands.
Rolex is investing to increase its brand presence in the Netherlands through major advertising campaigns. The company targets local consumers, with more of an emphasis on younger and middle-aged men and women, and on watch models linked to sports, with chronometers and other functions.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our watches market research database.